Cicada x Tech23 applications open, as Cicada urges all founders to consider: “am I deep tech?”

SYDNEY, March 21, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Australia’s flagship deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations is on the hunt for the nation’s 23 most promising deep tech ventures, to showcase their world-changing innovations at the country’s largest deep tech conference, Cicada x Tech23.

Sally-Ann Williams, CEO of Cicada Innovations

The groundbreaking innovations featured each year impact the lives of almost every single Australian in some form or other, such as the work of former alumnus, Morse Micro, whose founders were the original inventors of Wi-Fi.

Yet Cicada has observed that many startups might not realise their groundbreaking, science-driven projects, addressing major global challenges, actually qualify as “deep tech”, making them eligible to apply.

So Cicada is urging all founders and innovators – regardless of their business stage or industry – to see if their work fits the “deep tech” category. Because it isn’t just about being part of sectors like medicine or agriculture; it’s about pioneering solutions that tackle major issues.

Doing so will put them in the running to gain exposure to a wide network of visionary investors, ecosystem leaders, potential partners, and more as the vanguard conference continues to help accelerate the growth and impact of the final 23.

Sally-Ann Williams, CEO of Cicada Innovations, said: “We’ve come a long way in bringing the term ‘deep tech’ into the mainstream, and demonstrating the value of a wide range of Australian deep tech innovations to everyday Australians, such as Wi-Fi, cochlear implants, ultrasound, solar panels, and more.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find someone whose life hasn’t been impacted by at least one of these technologies that we now take for granted. Yet they are the result of decades-long deep tech endeavours that we as a nation must support by taking an interconnected, holistic approach.

“This is the type of support we hope to provide at Cicada x Tech23.

“But our increasing observation is that we have so many promising deep tech founders on home soil who are busy building truly world-changing innovations solving global problems – yet have no idea whatsoever that they actually classify as ‘deep tech’.

“So many instead think of their companies as siloed into subsets of very specific industry verticals, rather than also falling under the broader deep tech umbrella.

“Yet the reality is, to be ‘deep tech’ you don’t have to be a technical founder living in a capital city, with a PHD in your pocket and spinning a research project out of a university. Our Cicada x Tech23 2023 Insights report demonstrated that founders can emerge from unexpected places, including from farms and other regional areas, meaning we must broaden our national support and commitment to include a more diverse talent pool.

“So we urge all founders and innovators to ask themselves, ‘am I deep tech?’ – then put themselves in the running to join Cicada x Tech23.”

The 2023 Cicada x Tech23 event was attended by 300 ecosystem investors and leaders, and resulted in dozens of new opportunities for the 23, including one 2023 participant receiving significant funding and new partnerships as a direct result of being one of the 23.

Applications are now open until 12 April 2024, where interested parties are invited to highlight the problem they are solving, and what makes their approach and technology unique.

The final 23 will be announced on 17 May 2024, and the event will occur on 7 August 2024 at Cicada Innovations’ headquarters in Eveleigh, Sydney.

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Cicada Innovations is the home of deep tech in Australia. Founded in Sydney, Cicada Innovations has a 23-year track record of developing deep tech ventures that tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems.    

Cicada’s national incubators, commercialisation training, and community brings together the entrepreneurs, scientists, business leaders, and policymakers to solve complex challenges with deep tech like the future of human health, food security and the climate crisis.   

Since its inception more than two decades ago, Cicada has seen an unprecedented $1.3 billion in exits from six deep tech ventures, and has helped over 300 companies raise more than $1.8 billion in funding. It has twice been named the ‘Top Incubator in the World’ by the International Business Innovation Association and has delivered commercialisation training to thousands working in the science and technology sectors.

Cicada x Tech23 is Australia’s biggest deep tech celebration, showcasing 23 of Australia’s most promising ventures as a vanguard festival of radical innovation and brave ideas in the world of deep tech.

The event connects visionary founders to a network of investors, leaders and big thinkers – inviting the ecosystem to support game-changing people and businesses that can revolutionise our world.

This year’s event will take place on Wednesday 7th August in Sydney and we are searching for 23 of the most visionary leaders and exciting innovations to champion on the nation’s largest deep tech stage.

Third Hemisphere is Cicada Innovations’ PR firm in Australia